There are more aliens acting and talking in The Last Colony. Two key alien generals had leading roles in the book, and other than having them speak English through translators, Scalzi does not give much description.
Nerbros Eser is a renegade leader of factions of the Conclave, an Arrisian. All I know about members of the Arris race is that they have eyestalks, they are swat and stocky and have arms. The ceilings of their ships are therefore low. This is not a good enough description of a major character in a novel.
General Gau is the leader of the Conclave, and I can’t even remember his race now. I have no idea what he looks like. He speaks English and thinks like a human general, that’s it. But he’s alien.
There is a full chapter dedicated to Gau speaking to the leader of the Whaid people, named orenThen. A full chapter of dialog between Gau and orenThen, and I have no picture in my mind of either of them.
Scalzi tells a nice story, and that’s how I accomplished reading all three books of the trilogy, but all three books left me wanting for more detail, more description, more color.
At the end, in the acknowledgment, Scalzi talks about finishing off the Old Man’s War universe after three books, but by the time I read them, there were two more, Zoe’s Tale being the next.
But I think, given my consistent two star reviews, I’ll stop there with Scalzi.